Thoughts on the Shape of the Next Normal & Effects of Covid-19 on the Fertilizer Industry

An interview with Petter Østbø, CEO of EuroChem Group

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Petter Østbø, CEO of EuroChem Group, one of the world’s leading mineral fertilizer producers which supplies the full range of nutrients to satisfy the world’s increased need for food, provides insights on current trends in the fertilizer industry and its resilience to manage the effects of the Covid-19 crisis. In the course of the discussion, Mr Østbø will address:

  • Where should the company invest first and foremost to create a technological environment that will allow it to thrive in the next normal?
  • What are the long-term benefits, as well as opportunities, for automation of critical roles and functions?
  • How does the company maintain critical services while ensuring the safety of employees?
  • To what extent is the crisis a catalyst for rethinking how and where work is done, for improving the ability to collaborate remotely, and accelerating the adoption of automation and digital capabilities?
  • What are current expectations on the demand for fertilizers and prices?
  • What is the outlook for the post-coronavirus recovery in the sector?

Petter Østbø

A Norwegian citizen, Mr Ostbo has significant frontline experience in the fertilizer industry and a proven track record of leadership and team management.

He has extensive experience of overseeing production processes, a strong background in productivity transformation, corporate finance, and commercial restructuring.

Mr Ostbo began his career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co, supporting energy, chemicals and materials companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He advised on issues ranging from M&A and corporate finance through to operational/commercial improvement programs and regulatory strategies.

He joined Yara International in 2010 as Vice President, Product Management and Optimization, subsequently becoming Senior Vice President of Gas and Industrial Applications. He was promoted to Executive Vice President, Production, where he managed 28 chemical production factories and four mines in 16 countries, before being appointed EVP and Chief Financial Officer.

A published author, Mr Ostbo also founded Network Nine, a senior management development program.

He holds a Master´s degree in Finance from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH). In addition, he completed a one-year qualification in history studies at the University of Bergen.

Neil Bennett, Chief Executive

Neil Bennett has been Maitland/AMO’s Chief Executive since 2010. He originally joined the firm in 2004 from Gavin Anderson & Company UK, the financial and corporate communications group, where as CEO he oversaw the turnaround of the organisation and its return to profitability.

Neil advises a wide range of Maitland/AMO's clients on their strategic communications issues and has overseen a series of Europe's largest M&A transactions, IPOs and reputation management briefs over the past decade.

Before starting his career as a consultant, Neil spent 16 years as a financial editor, columnist, presenter and journalist.  He was City and Business Editor of the Sunday Telegraph between 1995 and 2002. Between 1989 and 1995 he was Banking Correspondent and later Deputy Business Editor of The Times where he edited and oversaw the re-launch of the influential Tempus Column.